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  1. 1. Jose Barrero | SS
    Jose Barrero
    Born: Apr 5, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2017.
    Signed By: Chris Buckley/Tony Arias/Miguel Machado/Jim Stockel/Bob Engle/Hector Otero.
    Minors: .303/.380/.539 | 19 HR | 16 SB | 330 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: For a team that rarely spends big on free agents, the Reds were always willing to spend on Cuban international free agents under the old format, where bonuses weren’t strictly limited. The signings of Aroldis Chapman and Raisel Iglesias gave a big payoff. Vladimir Gutierrez and Barrero should give the Reds a couple more potentially valuable additions. Barrero signed for $5 million in 2017. A second baseman in Cuba, Barrero quickly took to shortstop in the U.S. A shoulder injury slowed his U.S. debut in 2018, but he had an excellent 2019 season at High-A. On the heels of that, the Reds aggressively promoted him to the majors late in 2020. Barrero showed he wasn’t ready, but he responded by making improvements at the plate in the minors in 2021. He was called up to Cincinnati in September when Kyle Farmer went on the paternity list. When Farmer returned, Barrero got to branch out, playing some second base and center field. He hadn’t played second base in a pro game since 2017 and his first game in center field was in the majors. Barrero changed his name (from Jose Garcia) to remember and honor his late mother Tania Barrero. She died in May 2021 because of a coronavirus-related illness.

    Scouting Report: Barrero has developed into a solid offensive contributor with above-average power potential and average hitting ability. He is fully capable of crushing fastballs, but his success in the majors will be determined largely by his ability to either better hit or better lay off sliders out of the strike zone. He was regularly victimized by his tendency to chase in his first MLB stint in 2020. In 2021, he did a better job of laying off of sliders well out of the zone that he’d pulled off of in the past, but he’s still vulnerable to good sliders just in or out of the strike zone low and away. Barrero is a plus runner who wisely picks out spots to steal. Defensively, Barrero is an above-average defender at shortstop thanks to a plus arm and solid body control. He is at his best coming in on choppers, which he can barehand and fluidly throw to first. He’s also excellent when he’s fielding balls to his left, but he only rarely makes plays deep in the hole to his right.

    The Future: Barrero has used only one of his three options, so there’s still plenty of time for him to settle into his role with the Reds, even if it may not be on Opening Day in 2022. He has some defensive versatility, but the Reds have a long-term answer at second base and Barrero’s bat fits better at shortstop than in center field. Kyle Farmer’s surprising 2021 season means the Reds have another option, but Barrero should be a better defender with a better bat long-term.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60

  2. 2. Hunter Greene | RHP
    Hunter Greene
    Born: Aug 6, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Sherman Oaks, Calif., 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Rick Ingalls.
    Minors: 10-8 | 3.30 ERA | 139 SO | 39 BB | 107 IP

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: After developing the hardest-throwing pitcher of the 21st century in Aroldis Chapman, the Reds now have the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in baseball. Fully recovered from his 2019 Tommy John surgery, Greene touched 105 mph during Reds spring training, 104 mph during the season and had three different starts where he had 30+ pitches of 100 mph or harder. He earned a quick promotion to Triple-A Louisville but struggled at times against more experienced hitters. He missed one August start with an irritated AC joint in his right shoulder, but returned to make five more starts.

    Scouting Report: For as hard as Greene throws, his plus-plus fastball is hittable because it has relatively modest life and carry. If a hitter can time it, he can square it up. Nine of the 11 home runs Greene gave up after his promotion to Triple-A came against his fastball, usually when he pitched up in the zone. Greene’s combination of a very smooth, fluid delivery and easy to pick up release point means his fastball often doesn’t play to its velocity. When Greene is throwing his plus slider for strikes, the combination of it and his fastball can be diabolical. Hitters have to be looking for his fastball, so even if they recognize his slider, all they can do is watch it go by. His improved slider is still inconsistent. Greene doesn’t show much confidence in his high-80s changeup, but thanks to his fastball velocity it’s an effective chase pitch against lefties. He has plus control to go with his plus stuff.

    The Future: There’s every reason to develop Greene as a starter, although his fallback option is as the hardest-throwing closer in the game.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 55

  3. 3. Nick Lodolo | LHP
    Nick Lodolo
    Born: Feb 5, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 202
    Drafted/Signed: Texas Christian, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Paul Scott.
    Minors: 2-2 | 2.31 ERA | 78 SO | 11 BB | 51 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: One of the best high school arms in the 2016 draft class, Lodolo was picked 41st overall by the Pirates, but opted to head to Texas Christian. Lodolo’s decision paid off when he became the top pitcher in the 2019 draft class. Picked seventh overall by the Reds, Lodolo worked on improving his changeup and adding a slider at the alternate site in 2020. Lodolo’s innings were limited in 2021. He had a blister problem that cost him a month early in the season and he was shut down with a minor shoulder strain late in the season.

    Scouting Report: While there’s nothing spectacular about Lodolo’s pitch assortment, he has the rare ability to locate everything he throws and confidence to throw offspeed pitches in fastball counts. His 86-88 mph slider is his lone plus pitch. It’s effective against lefties and righties, as it has tight, late break. His average 93-96 mph fastball works because he can run it in and out—he mainly throws a sinker, but also mixes in a four-seamer and he throws a cutter as well. His fringy, sweepy curveball became much less of a factor as he gained confidence in his slider. His average changeup has improved as a pro, and he’s shown confidence to spot it against lefties and righties. Lodolo already has plus control and with his repeatable delivery, and he projects to have future plus command.

    The Future: Lodolo is unlikely to develop into an ace, but he is one of the safer bets in the minors to develop into a solid MLB starter. His confidence facing righthanded hitters and his command make everything play up, giving him a shot to be a reliable No. 3 or No. 4 starter.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Slider: 60. Cutter: 50. Curveball: 40. Changeup: 50. Control: 60

  4. 4. Elly De La Cruz | SS/3B
    Elly De La Cruz
    Born: Jan 11, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 150
    Signed By: Richard Jimenez.
    Minors: .296/.336/.538 | 8 HR | 10 SB | 247 AB

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    Track Record: Few prospects have come as quickly out of nowhere into prominence as de la Cruz. Signed for just $65,000, de la Cruz made his Dominican Summer League debut in 2019 and then had to wait until 2021 to get into another game—he wasn’t part of the Reds alternate site or instructional league in 2020. He played his way out of the Arizona Complex League by having 11 extra-base hits in just 11 games.

    Scouting Report: No Reds prospect has a higher ceiling than de la Cruz. There are few players in the majors or minors with three 70s on their scouting report. De la Cruz is a plus-plus runner with a plus-plus arm and plus-plus raw power. Coaches and scouts rave that his understanding of the game may be as impressive as his tools and he embraces working to get better. De la Cruz split his time between shortstop and third base. He has a legitimate shot to stick at short thanks to excellent hands and his railgun of an arm, but he would fit at third or in center field as well. The biggest concern with de la Cruz is his extremely aggressive at-bats. He approaches every at-bat as if he can hit everything. More advanced pitchers will force him to adjust.

    The Future: De la Cruz looked like a future star in his U.S. debut. He has a lot of work ahead of him and his approach will have to improve, but he has a shot to hit in the middle of the lineup while also playing a premium defensive position. He should be ready for High-A Dayton.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 70. Fielding: 55. Arm: 70.

  5. 5. Matt McLain | SS
    Matt McLain
    Born: Aug 6, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Jimmy Moran.
    Minors: .283/.389/.462 | 3 HR | 10 SB | 106 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: A two-time first round pick, McLain spurned the D-backs as the 25th pick in the 2018 draft—he was the fast riser in a high school shortstop class that also included Brice Turang and Nick Allen. McLain’s father was a college football player at UCLA, his mother was a college softball and volleyball player and his brothers Sean and Nick play baseball at Arizona State and UCLA, respectively.

    Scouting Report: McLain’s pro debut matched what he did at UCLA. He put together consistent at-bats and rarely swung and missed, but he didn’t hit the ball particularly hard. He will have to rework his swing if he wants to hit for more power. His approach is contact-oriented, and his swing doesn’t generate much of a load, but it does leave him able to control the barrel of the bat. He rarely fails to make contact, but he also posts modest exit velocities. Defensively, McLain makes all the plays at shortstop, he just doesn’t always look like he does it easily. There’s effort and a lack of fluidity to McLain’s actions, but he has soft hands and an above-average arm that’s enough to stay at the position. He also played center field as a freshman at UCLA and would fit there or at second base if needed.

    The Future: Much like fellow Reds prospect Nick Lodolo, McLain is the kind of steady, solid contributor who is viewed as a relatively safe first-round pick. He’s unlikely to ever be a regular all-star, but he should be a solid big leaguer. A return to High-A Dayton is possible to start the season, but he should spend much of 2022 at Double-A.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 40. Run: 60. Field: 50. Arm: 55

  6. 6. Austin Hendrick | OF
    Austin Hendrick
    Born: Jun 15, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Imperial, Pa., 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Jeff Brookens.
    Minors: .211/.380/.388 | 7 HR | 4 SB | 209 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: When the Reds picked Hendrick 12th overall in 2020, it was just the third time in draft history that Cincinnati had picked a prep outfielder in the top 15 picks of a draft. The previous two—Jay Bruce and Austin Kearns—both worked out. Hendrick’s pro debut in 2021 didn’t go as planned. A groin strain sidelined him for a month, and when he did play his power production was less than expected.

    Scouting Report: Hendrick’s first full pro season was a rather mixed bag. He struck out in 38% of his plate appearances and his exceptional bat speed did not lead to many home runs. He walked 19% of the time, however, and showed an advanced batting eye. Unlike many Class A hitters with strikeout issues, Hendrick doesn’t really struggle with pitch recognition. His problem is he too often fouls off pitches he should drive. Hendrick’s swing is quite steep. When he does connect it leads to plenty of long fly balls, but the loft in his swing means his barrel is not in the strike zone for very long. If he can fix that, Hendrick has the components to be a very productive hitter. His bat speed, batting eye and power give him the makings of at least an average hitter with plus power if he can fix his issues. His plus arm and fringe-average speed should work in right field.

    The Future: Hendrick’s 2021 season was disappointing, but the pieces are still there for him to be a potential middle-of-the-order hitter. He’ll head to High-A Dayton with a healthy to-do list.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60.

  7. 7. Jay Allen | OF
    Jay Allen
    Born: Nov 22, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Andrew Fabian.
    Minors: .328/.440/.557 | 3 HR | 14 SB | 61 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: A Florida recruit in baseball, Allen also had college options in football and participated in the Elite 11 quarterback camp finals. Allen may have more development room ahead of him than most prep stars because he played three sports throughout high school. He hasn’t focused as much on baseball as many of his peers, but that hasn’t slowed him down so far and he homered in his first official pro at-bat.

    Scouting Report: Allen showed both power and the ability to hit for average in his pro debut. He has a straightforward swing with a quick trigger. Last spring he showed a solid all-fields approach, although he was more pull-heavy in his pro debut. Allen turns in plus run times at his best, but those moments are rare. He accelerates quickly and has shown a solid understanding of how to read pitchers, which paid off with 14 stolen bases in 15 tries. The Reds had him play center field exclusively in his debut, but some scouts see him eventually ending up in left field. He should hit enough to fit at either spot.

    The Future: Allen has a wide range of options ahead. In an ideal scenario, he’ll be a center fielder with plus power and a plus hit tool. Even if he ends up in an outfield corner and doesn’t develop as much power as expected, he still has a shot to be a future MLB regular.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  8. 8. Rece Hinds | 3B
    Rece Hinds
    Born: Sep 5, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Bradenton, Fla., 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Sean Buckley.
    Minors: .259/.332/.542 | 12 HR | 7 SB | 201 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Hinds was viewed as one of the best power hitters in the 2019 draft class, but some teams shied away because of the strikeout issues that came with his power. A knee injury forced Hinds to miss two months from early June until early August. Upon his return to the Low-A Southeast league, he celebrated with four home runs and five consecutive two-hit games in his first five games back. Hinds’ .515 slugging percentage was fourth-best among Low-A Southeast hitters with 150 or more plate appearances and his .286 isolated power was the best among all Reds hitters with 100 or more plate appearances.

    Scouting Report: Hinds has some of the best raw power and one of the stronger arms in the minors. Other than the Polo Grounds, there may not be a ballpark big enough to contain Hinds when he solidly connects. He has true all-fields power and drives the ball out to center field as often as he yanks it down the line. He has plenty of holes, but so far his hands and adjustability in his swing have proven better than expected, which has allowed him to make enough contact for his power to play. Hinds’ range is limited at third base, but his plus-plus arm can turn anything he gets to into an out. He moves well enough to fit in right field if he doesn’t stick at third base. He’s an average runner now, but is likely to slow down as he matures.

    The Future: Hinds’ profile is somewhat reminiscent of J.D. Davis as a minor league third baseman with massive power and a big arm. He has made solid strides as far as making contact, but he’ll have to steadily continue to improve to allow his power to play to its potential.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 65. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 70.

  9. 9. Graham Ashcraft | RHP
    Graham Ashcraft
    Born: Feb 11, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: AlabamaBirmingham, 2019 (6th round).
    Signed By: Jonathan Reynolds.
    Minors: 11-4 | 3.00 ERA | 129 SO | 37 BB | 111 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: After a college career marred by injuries to both of his hips and a modest 2019 pro debut, Ashcraft proved was a revelation in 2021. He was the minors’ hottest pitcher for much of the first half of the season and had a seven-start, 43-inning stretch when his only run was allowed via catcher’s interference.

    Scouting Report: Ashcraft’s dominance and his struggles all stem from his all-power, all-the-time approach. At his best, Ashcraft can dominate a lineup with a 65-grade fastball, above-average cutter and a plus slider. Everything is hard, but when he’s throwing mid-90s fastballs with plenty of cut, knowing what’s coming may not be enough for a hitter. But when Ashcraft is missing his spots, his simple approach allows hitters to simply look for a pitch to drive. Ashcraft is able to throw to the strike zone and let the movement of his fastball take care of the rest. He’s unlikely to ever be a pitcher with the command to hit his spots, but he can throw strikes. His changeup is more a concept than a pitch right now, and he’ll also flip over an early-count, well below-average curve.

    The Future: Ashcraft reached Double-A, but he has plenty of development of his secondaries left if he’s going to be a starter. He’d have a quicker path as a reliever, where he could ride his pure power approach for one-inning stints. The dominance he demonstrates at his best is impressive, but he has to show he can sustain success.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65. Cutter: 55. Curveball: 30. Slider: 60. Changeup: 30. Control: 45.

  10. 10. Bryce Bonnin | RHP
    Bryce Bonnin
    Born: Oct 11, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Texas Tech, 2020 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Paul Scott.
    Minors: 4-2 | 2.87 ERA | 71 SO | 17 BB | 47 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: A hitter who sporadically pitched for the first three years of his high school career, Bonnin established himself as one of the best prep arms in Texas in his senior season. He headed to Arkansas, but shoulder surgery meant he never pitched for the Razorbacks. He transferred to Texas Tech because the Red Raiders gave him the opportunity to start. In his second pro start, Bonnin struck out 11 of the 15 batters he faced in five perfect innings. His final three starts of the season after a promotion to High-A Dayton didn’t go nearly as well.

    Scouting Report: Hunter Greene throws harder, but Bonnin’s fastball is harder to hit than Greene’s because of its combination of 94-99 mph velocity, a low release point which leads to a low vertical approach angle which hitters aren’t used to seeing and the pitch’s exceptional carry through the top of the zone. The Reds worked with Bonnin to get him to stop cutting his fastball and to help him finish a little less closed off in his delivery. The result was better vertical movement on his fastball as well as improved velocity. His slider is a plus pitch as well, but his cutter and changeup are still unrefined because he hasn’t been able to use them much in games.

    The Future: Bonnin carries plenty of reliever risk, but he also has some of the best stuff in the organization. His improved delivery buys him time to prove that he can start.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Cutter: 40. Changeup: 40. Control: 45

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